Everton must give a last chance to Davies

Everton host Aston Villa at Goodison Park in the Premier League tomorrow afternoon, and Sean Dyche will be hoping that his side can continue their confident form in front of their home support since his arrival at the club nearly a month ago.

The 51-year-old will lead his team out for his fourth game in charge and has a 100% record in his two home games so far, so it should put the Toffees in a good position and in great spirits to further distance themselves from the relegation zone when Unai Emery’s side pay a visit this weekend.

Everton are one point clear of the relegation zone in 16th following their win over Leeds United last week, and claiming all three points on Saturday would see them climb even further away from trouble ahead of the business end of the season.

Despite his rapid transformation of the team, Dyche has been dealt no favours so far, with the club failing to make any signings in the January transfer window. They instead weakened the squad by selling Anthony Gordon, and the former Burnley boss has also had to deal with injury blows to key players.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is out of action again with a hamstring injury, whilst Amadou Onana remains a doubt for the clash on Saturday following a knee complaint last week.

As a result, Dyche could now give Tom Davies his last chance to prove that he can step up when he is needed by replacing Onana in midfield this weekend, with the 24-year-old’s current contract set to expire this summer.

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Should Tom Davies start against Aston Villa?

It’s hard to determine whether Davies will thrive or barely survive in Dyche’s system, with the midfielder only tallying 28 minutes of game-time during the manager’s short tenure so far.

However, the Everton boss could now have his hand forced if Onana is not quite ready to take on the challenges in midfield on Saturday, with Garner also being assessed as to whether he will be fit for the game, so it could be a golden opportunity for Davies.

The boyhood Evertonian – who was hailed as “useful” by Patrick Boyland – has worked hard to become part of the first-team squad, rising through the ranks of the youth setup to earn 172 senior appearances over his career so far.

Across 12 Premier League appearances this season, the 24-year-old hasn’t been able to make a significant impact, with only 1.9 duels won per game at a success rate of 53%. He has failed to complete 67% of his dribbles and averaged just 12.2 accurate passes, 0.1 key passes, 0.3 interceptions and 21.9 touches per game, not exactly imposing himself as a dominant presence in midfield.

However, Dyche may be forced to start Davies this weekend given the injuries elsewhere, and it could be the player’s final opportunity to make a positive impression. If he doesn’t, it might just be the last time that he is seen on the pitch in an Everton shirt.